Archive for Thursday, August 13, 2009

City hears site plan assessment

August 13, 2009

The consensus from a economic development update with consultants Bucher Willis and Ratliff was that Eudora should look to develop eastward north of Kansas Highway 10 rather than south.

BWR detailed the early stages of the $88,400 plan for the Eudora Planning Commission; Eudora City Council members Maria Nelson and Bill Whitten; and Mayor Scott Hopson.

The most notable section of the report was the site assessments, which brought to light the locations of downtown Eudora, the Nottingham Elementary School area and the area of East 10th Street as the “most appropriate to target for economic development.”

For downtown, which consisted of the various empty buildings on Main Street and some undeveloped property, the attraction is the opportunity that could be available from increased traffic from the Interstate 70 interchange at Tonganoxie traveling through Eudora via Leavenworth County Road 1.

The Nottingham property, which includes the old elementary school and Laws Field, was said to be one of the most attractive locations for market redevelopment.

However, Eudora USD 491 still owns the property and doesn’t want to sell the site until the real estate market rebounds.

Though more water, sewer and electrical lines need to be installed, the area of East 10th Street generated the most interest from Eudora officials.

The area already includes Intech Business Park and its five available lots plus as much as 100 acres of undeveloped land, including the 73-acre Deer Valley development that has sat dormant since a preliminary site plan was approved in 2005.

“Given the water district to the south, we need to look a lot harder at this area,” said Planning Commission Chairman Kurt Von Achen.

BWR’s Shawn Strate, who also is the city’s engineer, said there was a possibility a future connection from K-10 to the new Tonganoxie 1-70 interchange would bring additional traffic through the area.

“A new connector road could be a real game changer,” Strate said.

The Web site that has been developed as part of the plan — http://client.bwrcorp.com/eudora — currently features Eudora’s comprehensive plan; the 2008 community survey results; and demographic and economic information, as well as base maps used during the community workshops.

The site soon will feature information on properties available for development and information on available locations for prospective business owners.

“I’d like to see a little bit more time spent to make things more accessible for people, and that Web site will be a big part of it,” planning commissioner Glenn Bartlett said.

Next up in the process will be the stakeholder meetings, which will be open to the public, and likely include officials with Eudora USD 491, the Eudora Chamber of Commerce and other landowners.

The meeting was tentatively schedule for 6 p.m. Sept. 30 at the Eudora Community Center, 1630 Elm St.

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